Guide: How to Purchase a Perfect Air Conditioner?


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350Z

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My long pending research for an air conditioner just came to end a few days ago. However, in this period, I know the large amount of time and efforts which I have spent to collect some very basic information so that I don’t end up becoming as an innocent buyer who easily felled in the trap of a clever dealer. Now after this brainstorming, I’m preparing a newbie’s basic guide on buying an air conditioner in hope to help others who might be in the same situation these days since the temperature is gradually soaring as the summers arrive.


  • Step One Set Your Budget:
Deciding the budget and sticking around it is the first and foremost thing one should do if it ever comes to purchase a costly item. This could be flexible to a few thousand bucks more or less. Now since the summers have arrived already, most of the dealers will not offer as attractive deal as you may usually find in off-season, so be prepared to shell out extra. Typically, the price of a normal air conditioner starts from anywhere Rs.20,000 and ranges up to Rs.50,000+.


  • Step Two Decide Your Requirements:
Do you wish to cool only your bedroom or the entire house? The air-conditioner purchase depends upon such requirements. Mainly, three types of air-conditioners are available in the market: Portable A/C, Window A/C, and Split A/C. Obviously, the portable A/C costs much lesser than basic variant of window A/C, however I personally do not find it any good for regular family usage. Therefore, this leaves us with two major types: Window A/C and Split A/C.


  • Step Three Window versus Split:
Another common confusion which many buyers stuck in between. I was no different. Where the Split air conditioner adds altogether an aesthetic appeal to your home, at the same time, the window air conditioner offers much lesser fuss in terms of installation (Especially if you keep shifting around). Plus, it costs relatively lesser too. Following is a general comparison between both:

* Affordable Price: Window A/C
* Installation Easiness: Window A/C
* Ease of Transportation: Window A/C
* Installation Flexibility: Split A/C
* Aesthetic Appeal: Split A/C
* Comparatively Less Noise: Split A/C


  • Step Four Calculate Ton Requirement:
Air conditioners are available in different variants depending upon their cooling capacity. It’s absolutely important to know exactly how much would you require because buying either of both, under-effective or over-effective A/C will only make you feel regret later. The unit to measure cooling capacity of an air conditioner is ‘ton’, which translates into 12,000 BTU per hour (British Thermal Units). Although the cooling of a normal room depends upon numerous factors (Number of doors, windows for example) but one can calculate their ton requirement using the following mathematical formula: Room’s Length * Breadth * Height *(in feet) divided by 1000. A real time example: 10*10*10 = 1000, now, 1000 / 1000 = 1. Voila! This means you would require an air conditioner with approximately 1 Ton of cooling capacity.


  • Step Five Most Suitable ‘Star Rating’:
Of late, the Bureau of Energy and Efficiency has initiated the star rating system for most of the heavy electrical appliances. These star rating are based on the scale of 5, which indicate the energy conservation of product after certified testing so that companies cannot take their consumers for ride, anymore. It is important to keep this factor into consideration while making your A/C purchase, but remember, usually with higher the star rating, higher goes the price as well.


  • Step Six Start Surveying and Finalize:
You are now almost well-prepared and informed about the basic know-how of choosing air-conditioners. Step out in the market with full confidence and thoroughly obtain an idea about the various models available along with their features and price. Shortlist the ones that perfectly fit in your budget and you like the most, though don’t be in hurry and come back home to research more about those shortlisted models online / with friends. Also, it’s important keep in mind that the company has sufficient after sales and support network in your location, otherwise a Rs.40k A/C can prove worst than normal room cooler if not at all working properly. And not to forget – Keep in touch with the dealership until the A/C is installed in your home and working because sometimes these people act too lazy and can take more than a week for this simple task. Hope this helps, good luck for the hunt!

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: How to Purchase a Perfect Air Conditioner?

Good article but one thing i feel installing a split AC is much easier. Because in window AC , a larger ton AC sometimes wont fit in your window size and at that time you will need a carpenter too. No such fusses with split AC , fit it wherever you want!


And also one more point i feel a window AC cools the room faster than a split AC.
 

Akash

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Re: How to Purchase a Perfect Air Conditioner?

Excellent article[clap].

And also one more point i feel a window AC cools the room faster than a split AC.
Yeah me too agree with this, however i prefer Split ones as they cool uniformly.
 

vijay

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well guys the reason for window A/C cooling faster then split ones is being the time for gas to pass through its piping cabbled from its outdoor junction till your indoor unit where else for windows its much shorter time for air to circulate and rotate.As far as noise is concerned yes a minor bit lesser is heard from splits as compressor unit fits outside, but not much of difference with newer window a/c;s as well.
 
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350Z

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Re: How to Purchase a Perfect Air Conditioner?

Good article but one thing i feel installing a split AC is much easier.
Although, installing the Split may appear much easier but re-installation is a mess and not so pocket friendly for those who are certain to shift from a location to location.

Because in window AC , a larger ton AC sometimes wont fit in your window size and at that time you will need a carpenter too. No such fusses with split AC , fit it wherever you want!
Who told to install it on a window? Have seen people fitting it by drilling space in walls too. :smile:

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350Z
 
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Oh drilling in walls!! Only house owners can do that , nobody can do that in a rented house![surprise]

Actually surprised to hear this drilling in walls , in Chennai i haven seen something like that.
 
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350Z

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Oh drilling in walls!! Only house owners can do that , nobody can do that in a rented house!Actually surprised to hear this drilling in walls , in Chennai i haven seen something like that.
Yet people do it and fill up the walls with bricks and plaster cement whenever they decide to leave. You’ll easily find such examples here.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
Thread Starter #9

350Z

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Hello All, I found this A/C Tonnage calculator chart in my LG's manual. Would like to share it with all those who're looking to purchase an A/C in future.

ac-tonnage-calculation-chart.JPG

ac-tonnage-calculation-chart2.JPG

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350Z
 
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well thats a good explanation 350z

would like to add that there are new acs which are inverter driven and a proven to cut down on electricity bills.
these inverter acs work in the same way a normal ac does but the difference is the compressor is a twin rotary dc compressor. In our normal acs the ac cuts of and on to maintain temperatures, when the compressor cuts of we feel a bit warm and when it starts we feel cold, most power is used when the compressor starts up for a few seconds.
now these inverter acs do not cut the compressor of, instead they control the temperatures by controlling the compressor speed using the inverter board.
when you switch the ac on, suppose you set the temperature at 23 degree Celsius and the room temperature is at 27 degrees the compressor will work at its highest speed for 15 minutes to quickly cool down the room and as it approaches 23 degrees the compressor speed will slow down, if for any reason the ac cannot control the temperature at lowest compressor speed it will cut the compressor of. Also these acs are not like our conventional acs which start up at a fixed speed, which in some house holds cause our lights to dim for a second or two when they start up. These acs start the compressor at lowest speed and gradually increases, on split units the outdoor ambient temperature, indoor temperature is monitored closely, also the expansion valve is controlled, and depending on the load demand the gas is controlled. Even the outdoor fan is controlled with regard to the refrigerant temperature after it leaves the compressor and set indoor temperature.
will give an example with regards to my ac.
the location of the ac is my living room, i had a 2 tone ac fitted there since 3 years, earlier when buying it the guys told a 2tonne will suffice for a 450sqft hall.
But the room never got cold it took lots of time to cool the room and more often we needed the fans, the ac usage was 4 hours a day. Our bills were coming 12-17 thousand a month, we do have 3 more acs which are used.
Finally that ac conked of and we went ahead for an inverter air con. The maximum capacity of the unit we choose was 3tonne which adjusts itself based on demands it works right from 0.25 tone till 3 tone and power usage is from 500watts- 2950watts nominal capacity being 2.3 tones.
the ac here is silent the outdoor unit noise is also minimal.
from bills of 12-17 thousand we started getting bills of 12 thousand maximum.

however inverter acs are new and cost more then the conventional acs. daikin, mitsubishi, toshiba, blue star and hitachi have inverter acs in their range.
i went in for mitsubishi the cost of their conventional split 2 tone ac is 50 thousand and the cost of the inverter 2.5 tone i choose is 78 thousand.

it depends more if your usage is high say more then 2 hours a day for the ac to be useful to you.
Also these acs use the newest r410a gas, against the others which use the soon to be phased out r22 gas.
 
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Very interesting thread. Referred to it as I am planning to buy a split AC. We are a middle class family and had always thought an Ac to be a luxury and hence avoided buying one so far. But the heat and humidity in Mumbai is getting deadlier day by day and so what was considered as a luxury , we now grudgingly accept as a necessary evil !! I have a couple of queries for you and shall be most obliged if you would help by clarifying:

1. How important is the star rating if one is planning to operate the AC for 6-7 hours a day for maximum of 4 months an year. My calculation shows that the difference is only around Rs.45-60 per month between a 5 star rated and 2 star rated I ton AC. Which means that the difference in operating cost is around Rs 200 per year ( 4 months usage) and the price difference is around Rs. 5000-Rs.7000 depending on the brand. That translates to a break even of 25 to 35 years. This is hardly worth it.

2. The above logic also applies to the new inverter AC.What is the price variance and what is the operational cost advantage. Based on these two, what is the payback period. I feel that any AC with a payback period more than 5-6 years is a waste. I might be wrong. After all this is based on my usage pattern. If someone else is going to use the Ac for 24 hours a day x 365 days, then the savings is significant.

2. What would be a good 1 ton AC brand in the Value segment ? I cannot afford premium brands like OGeneral and Hitachi and have narrowed down to Panasonic Ivory CS-UC12PKY ( Rs. 20,990), Sharp AH-A12LET ( Rs. 21,900), Daikin FTE35LV169 ( Rs. 23,200),Blue Star 3HW12JA ( Rs.2,100) and Lloyd Claret FLS13N5C 5 Star( Rs.19,300). I was told that Blue Star and Lloyd have Chinese compressor and components and if correct, then I want to avoid them. Which out of the others is a good brand based on reliability, smooth operations, good after sales service and warranty.

3. I am not keen on a lot of hi-tech features like follow me, turbo cooling, auto clean, etc. etc. Want a simple rugged and reliable unit which is value for money and with responsive after sales service.

Could you advice me on this ? I know that this is quite an old thread but if anyone is still following it, a bit of advice would be most helpful.

Regards,

Abraham
 
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well i would say to go in for the daikin they are very good machines and fully imported from thailand. Well since you have a narrow budget and usage is 4 months a year i would say to let go of inverter acs. To me the inverter ac i got was 2x times the cost of the ac it replaced. I had an hitachi split in my hall and it saw 4-5 hours of usage daily throughout the year. Bills were high and the ac would take a long time to cool the area. Not to mention it would conk of to often the mistubishi inverter i brought costed 80,000 with installation and it was just 0.25 tonnes more then the previous ac the area now cools faster the usage of ac has increase to 6 hours a day and bills have dropped down by 25%.
now to make things simpler for you with the choice you have lloyd and bluestar have chinese compressors true, even most of their parts. Panasonic and sharp are imported acs along with daikin, comparing the three of these daikin has a very renowned compressor with is energy efficient plus the cooling is very good. However i guess for the daikin you will have to pay for installation and piping. Please stay away from hitachi they are not what they used to be.
 
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